And Now…Sleep

FINALLY. Yes, F-I-N-A-L-L-Y.

The first draft of the third Find Me book is done. On account of bouncing around a lot in the plot, and using a new writing software program (Scrivener), editing is going to be rough, I tell ya. But, I’ve made it!

My Muse owes me some solid nights of sleep, that’s for sure. And maybe some wine. I do have wine. I even managed to get it ready in the fridge. But for now, sleep. Preferably a FULL six hours of it.

Riley, you had a roller coaster ride in this book. This is a story I can’t wait for your readers to experience. Now…go away until tomorrow and let me sleep.

It’s time to kill someone…

Oh, relax. Don’t call the cops – yet.

Because the person I must kill is fictional. You’re safe. For now.

Seriously though. This is the hardest part of my job. Some authors love killing off their babies. Other authors wouldn’t DARE. Me? I listen to the Muse and do as she commands, which means there will be one less member of the Find Me crew by the end of today.

Riley will be devastated.

“I’m sorry, he’s gone,” the Doctor said.

The room spun like a child’s top and I reached out for the closest object to my left to steady myself. A medical supply cart on wheels went flying under my weight, striking the wall with a loud bang and I landed with an oafish thump on my hands and knees. The noise startled the baby awake and she wailed into the room like someone had dropped her, even though Jacks had her pressed tightly to his chest.

“No.” It was a raspy whisper, my voice, and that was the only word I could utter.

– Copyright Trish Marie Dawson, Find Me 3

Seeing Red

I’m seeing RED this week. Not just in my head, but on the screen. It’s Slasher Week in the Dawson-Holly household. Like, no holding back, slice and dice kind of red.

Editing is messy work. It’s downright bloody. It’s the kind of disaster big enough that no excessive amounts of drop-cloths can keep the arterial sprays from hitting the walls. It sucks, but someone has to do the first round.

Recently I went through the last bits of two WIP’s and cut, highlighted, replaced, reworded, gutted and overhauled until I literally saw RED in my mind. The bratty little untrained editor inside my head is running around in circles with a chewed pen in one hand and a knife in the other – and she means business.

Even if someone hires an editor, like I do, you still must edit your own work. But, how is it that you can go from this:

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To your inner editor coming back with this:

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Sigh. I try. Really, I do. But I’m not a professional editor – I’m a writer. The creativity comes out in spurts when the Muse is well-fed which means sometimes I sit and stare at the same paragraph for hours, trying to remember if ‘the’ is spelled correctly or not, and other times I breeze through an entire chapter without stopping to breathe. Then I let that little brat of a wannabe editor have at it. And, well…

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After my Muse’s alter-ego has her way with my WIP, I’m drained. Often times I let it get to me – the painful process of doing the first round of editing. It’s an experience that can turn most writers inside out, especially when we know the difference between ‘too’ and ‘to’ but keep finding both in the wrong places.

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Yet, once the first go around of editing is complete, I find, surprisingly enough, that I have survived, as has my Muse and that little girl inside that likes to eat the ends of her red pens. She just wants to give me a big hug and tell me how much she cares about the artistic side of my brain. Sometimes she even goes so far as to tell me how she REALLY feels…

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So we hug it out. I forgive her for making me feel like a failure but I’ll always keep an eye on the knife she has tucked in the waistband of her jeans. I’m incredibly aware that she could pull that blade out at ANY time and stab my WIP till it bleeds to death. I told you, she’s a brat. I suppose I need her though. If it was just me and my Muse, we’d be in big trouble. Because the worse thing my pen chewing and knife-wielding self-taught editor could do is leave me. I…I don’t know what I’d do if she told me it was over between us. I would have to invest in more chocolate and new red pens and hope I didn’t ruin our relationship forever.

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Don’t tell her I said she was a brat. I don’t think she’d like it. Especially after cleaning up the beginning of my new WIP so nicely. Thanks to her fit this week, now I can go back to feeling a tad bit more fabulous and like I know what I’m doing. I’m a writer. I must write. Right? Watch out, we’re flying our way through this chapter to the next – the Muse, the Inner Editor and I. We are a force to be reckoned with and I guess I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Happy Editing and Reading, Everyone!

Now What?

The first draft is done. You’ve proofread it and tweaked it and read it enough times to have most of the book memorized, and you have sent it off to the editor to be polished. So…now what do you do?

This is my current Writer Problem. I have told myself in the past every writer should take a mini-break between books – during that time when the book is being edited, formatted, etc…just to give the brain and the hands a break. But this time around for me is very different from the last book I wrote. This time I have at least two other WIP’s that need their stories told. I have five times as many jotted down as ideas. Instead of my brain exhaling and taking a break, it’s furiously scrambling over all those other stories and WIP’s, rooting around for a good hold on one of them.

Does this mean I haven’t taken a break since finishing the first draft of the last book? Of course I have! For almost two weeks, in fact – which for me, is a REALLY long time to not write something. However, every day that gets closer to the end of June has become harder and harder to spend away from my WIP’s. Should I work on A’ris and Hutch and the Dry Lands or Riley’s journey of survival? Should I work on my children’s WIP with the feisty little fairy, who has survived the massacre of her people? Should I work on something new altogether? Seriously…I’m asking.

Despite what I decide to start back on, the right story will fight for the spotlight. These tales have been calling out to me and the Muse has been pouting in a corner, wondering where I am.

So I’ll start writing again, if for no other reason but to keep the Muse satisfied. Because, let’s face it – the Muse is boss.

 

That Moment When…

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I might pass out. I definitely need some wine. And maybe chocolate.

The first draft of ‘Dying to Return’ is done. Done. BOOM. I knew it was coming…but it snuck up on me anyway. Sort of like a hungry cougar. The Muse has been hunting me relentlessly for the last few weeks and today, the Muse finally caught me – and the sharp teeth and long claws hurt. This is the end of my Piper’s story, told from her eyes. The Station will continue to have stories to tell, but Piper won’t be narrating. So yeah, I cried and laughed, because I finished something important (to me).

Though the next few weeks will be full of time spent editing, formatting and marketing, I can breathe easier now. Release day is just around the corner. That moment when I finish a book is almost like winning the lottery, minus the influx in cash, of course. I so badly want to share this story with you! 😀

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00071]Dying to Return is the 3rd book in the Young Adult Fantasy, The Station Series. Piper Willow’s adventure in the afterlife continues as she struggles to discover who she is and what is expected of her. Faced with decisions that could change everything, she must weigh her desire to be with the ones she has come to love, or satisfy her curiosity and find out what lies beyond her world with someone new. What Piper experiences and the choices she makes could not only alter the delicate inner workings of the Station, but the delicate balance that Piper has managed to maintain inside herself. In the end, will it all be worth it?

 

JUNE 28th – save the date!